How to Convert Leads into Sales and Avoid The #1 Problem Online
For years I’ve seen businesses share a particular problem no matter what their size or industry. It’s what I see as the #1 problem business owners face, and it’s time to finally bring awareness to this issue. By doing so, businesses will recognize what’s wrong and finally solve it once and for all!
What is the #1 problem? The issue involves how businesses answer phone calls from potential customers, especially those who find the company website online and call the business.
In my experience, success (or lack of) online starts with understanding the Lifetime Value of Your Customer.
That’s where the internet starts.
Your marketing is a communication tool just like your phone and phone answering. Today we are evaluated by potential customers who view our websites, reviews, social sites and who we associate with before they call us.
As you read through, take a look at the images. They are the sequence to build your digital exposure ultimately leading to a phone call from a new prospect.
I hope you find this valuable.
How I Uncovered the Online Lead Conversion Breakdown
Simply, we use SEO (and social media) as a channel to generate profitable leads for our customers.
For years, all we looked at were traffic stats to a website. We never knew exactly what was happening on the clients end. We just assumed our clients were getting new customers based on conversations with them or by seeing leads come in via contact forms.
As our SEO skills increased, so did leads and new customers for our clients. Our happy customers were referring us. Business was growing. All seemed good.
The Call That said “You’re fired”
The call came in, “I want to cancel our SEO service with you. Don’t bill us anymore.” Wow, that’s a brutal call to get.
I said “why, your website traffic is excellent, you rank at the top of the Google searches for hundreds of keywords plus Google Places/Maps?”
The client said he wasn’t getting any business online. All the calls coming in were from people he already knew. “They use Google as their rolodex to call me.”
I looked at Google Analytics to see what people searched before clicking to his website. No one was searching his name or company name. I knew something wasn’t right.
So I suggested we add a call tracking number to his website, then we would revisit it in a few months. If leads are not coming in, then I guess we’ve lost a client.
It didn’t take long to figure out the problem.
Immediately, I could see 20 calls per week (80 per month) coming in. This was in a legal niche market. So I asked the client if it was OK to listen to the calls. He said no problem, so I started listening.
I was shocked.
I found the problem.
First, many of the calls were from lawyers around the country who were looking for an attorney to refer their client to. They Googled the keyword and geographic area. They clicked through to the website finding a site full of great information, the partners’ pictures, name and phone number.
The referring lawyers now had a name and background. They knew who they were calling. When the calls came in, my client assumed these lawyers knew him. They didn’t. But he ranked #1 on Google so he got the call.
The other calls that came in were from potential clients who needed help. You could hear the sound of desperation in their voice. They needed help.
They were treated like cold callers. These people were faced with rude and uncaring call answering. They were left on hold and hung up.
No wonder they weren’t getting new clients.
If they were aware of the value of each client, I think they would have treated each call differently.
Call Answering Problem #2
This next one is similar to the case above. Different service but same problem.
I get the call, “I want to stop your SEO Service, it’s not producing any new patients”.
Having received this call before, I knew immediately there was a call answering problem.
So I suggested to our client to allow us to put a call forwarding number on the website. Give it 30 days, and let’s see if there is a problem.
In this case, the owner had purchased his practice and along with it the receptionist of 25 years.
After 30 days I could easily see there were many calls coming in. Then I started to listen to the call recordings.
The receptionist was horrible. Rude and uncaring. Left people on hold for long periods of time.
I had the tell my client to be prepared for what he was going to hear when listening to the calls.
Immediately it became clear, he had been losing business for 5 years without knowing the problem. Call tracking revealed why.
My client terminated the receptionist then hired someone new. He worked with his new receptionist to develop scripts. They became sensitive to what the clients wanted and the value of each.
Today, their business is growing. Phone calls are answered professionally. The professional, caring customer experience continues from the initial call, to scheduling, to first meeting and well after that first visit.
Today, my client’s practice is growing.
Do You Have a Call Answering Problem?
I can tell you many cases just like the 2 mentioned above. It’s a national epidemic that few want to face.
It’s not just a call answering problem, it’s a business message and operating problem.
Here’s where the problem starts.
Most of us are programmed to hunt for leads and new clients.
Ways to find new clients?
- Cold Calls
- Business Cards
- Direct Mail
- Newspaper Ads
- Magazine Ads
- Trade Shows
- Social Media
Then, once we get a lead, we try and impress the prospect. We start to sell.
This is what Seth Godin refers to as interruption marketing. The process of interrupting people enough times over and over to get their business.
Marketoonist, has a cartoon of a huge billboard on the side of a building that says “stop whatever you’re doing and pay attention to this Ad, Dammit” Click here to see ad
That’s how interruption marketing works. It’s like standing on top of a mountain, shaking our fists, how can you not buy from us?
What is Demand Driven Marketing and How Does It Affect Your Call Answering
Demand Driven Marketing has created a powerful paradigm shift. It’s created a mindset shift.
It has changed the way people do business. It’s empowered clients to find what they want. It’s created a sense of entitlement.
Understand Demand Driven Marketing and you’ll understand how the internet works.
Understand how the internet works and you’ll understand your clients.
Understand your clients and you’ll know how to answer the phone. If someone does a search online and they call you, they want something. It’s a big step to make that call. They are likely a buyer, not a tire kicker.
Listen to what they want, give them what they want.
Don’t think it’s because you are so great. It’s because they found you online. Remember – Customer options are 1 click away.
Understand How The Internet Works and You’ll Get New Clients Calling You
The case I mentioned above about the lawyer getting tons of calls from people he thought knew him is an interesting one we can all learn from.
He and his office never thought about all the calls that were coming in and why. The calls were coming in from people searching for someone to help them solve their problem.
They searched keywords, keyword phrases (queries) and Geographic terms on Google.
They click one of the Google results that catch their eye and land on your webpage.
Frequently, it’s not the first time they landed on the website. If the website message connects with the consumer, if it’s relevant to what they want, they may call.
When a prospective customer calls, it’s highly likely they have searched many results online before they called you. Before they call, they may have looked at your online reviews, your Facebook page, your Linked In page.
When they call, they have a pretty good idea what they want and know a little about you.
In fact, they may have already called your competitors and had a bad experience. Now they are calling you. They may know what a bad phone experience is like.
3 Tips to Converting Leads into New Clients
1. Be aware clients Search For What They Want
2. Listen To What They Want
3. Know The Lifetime Value of Your Customers
Converting Calls To New Clients – Summary
I hope this has you thinking and helped you on your road to many new clients, patients or even product sales online.
One of the biggest changes we see with local business online marketing is increased competition. As competition has increased for attracting new customers online, converting website visitors to new customers is a result of understanding demand driven marketing.One thing we see when someone does contact you from your website, they are a hot buyer.
They are educated and know what they want.
Just listen and give them what they want.